May 01 2007

A Jury of His Peers

Editor's Note

It turns out that the White House Correspondents Association does something besides holding banquets—it also gives out prizes. This year’s recipient of its Aldo Beckman Award, given for “repeated excellence in White House coverage,” was Kenneth T. Walsh of U.S. News & World Report. As Walsh is the only reporter to be twice honored with a Beckman, we have to assume that he represents what his peers see as the best of their profession. That’s what worries us. FAIR (Media Views, 6/13/06) described an article Walsh wrote last year (6/19/06) as a “cheerleading account” that “openly adopts the [White House’s] […]

May 01 2007

The Media’s Mayor

Mythologizing Guiliani and 9/11

And Giuliani walks on. He walks from his bunker, up Barclay Street and went on television. Went on and announced his heroism and then came back every hour or so until he became a star, a great figure, a national hero, the mayor who saved New York. Most of this comes from these dazed Pekingese of the Press. . . . Giuliani was a hero with these news people.—Columnist Jimmy Breslin (Newsday, 3/7/04) On September 11, 2001, with George W. Bush in hiding for much of the day, mainstream journalists were desperately looking for a man on horseback. For many, […]

May 01 2007

Bono, I Presume?

Covering Africa Through Celebrities

“Africa is sexy and people need to know that,” declared U2 singer Bono (New York Times, 3/5/07), promoting his new (RED) line of products that propose to save Africa one iPod at a time. Celebrity interest in Africa is not particularly new, but today more stars than ever seem to be converging upon the continent, with television crews seldom far behind. But, as Bono clearly understands, what media tend to find sexy about Africa is not Africa itself, but the stars like himself who have taken up causes in the region. In television news in particular, with its typically cursory […]

May 01 2007

CounterSpin Interview: Mahmood Mamdani on Darfur

Western Media Must Share Responsibility

There is no doubt that intense war and human suffering exists in many places around the world. The war in Congo, for instance, escapes media scrutiny, but is probably the deadliest of our time, killing millions of people. It’s worth considering, then, which conflicts we are told to pay close attention to, and what we are told about those conflicts. The war in Iraq, of course, is heavily covered; the violence in Darfur, less so. But how we talk about these conflicts is very different. CounterSpin talked to Mahmood Mamdani, a professor of government and anthropology at Columbia University who […]

May 01 2007

Make Your Own Damn Sign!

Why Democrats need to promote progressive media

It did not surprise me, during the 2004 election, when Kerry/Edwards supporters called in to my show on Air America Radio—though it did surprise me when they called in seeking yard signs. I don’t have a yard, much less a sign. All I could think to do was to direct these callers to the Kerry campaign website, which is what I did until one exasperated caller protested that she could find no darn way to obtain a yard sign through The caller was right. Not only was there no apparent way to obtain a yard sign through the Democratic […]